Gender and the management of climate-related risks in Northern Thailand

International Social Science Journal (Chinese Edition)

No.1, 2018


Gender and the management of climate-related risks in    Northern Thailand (Abstract)


Louis Lebel, Phimphakan Lebel and Boripat Lebel


In much past research on the sustainability of natural resource management, gender was either ignored or women were essentialised as care-takers or victims. Recent programmes on disaster risk reduction and adaptation to climate change seem to be retracing these myths. There is a need for more critical research on how gender influences the experience and management of climate-related risks. This paper draws on a set of earlier studies to explore the influences of gender on climate risk management by farming households in northern Thailand. We find that women fish farmers perceived greater climate-related risks to profits, and this corresponded with attaching greater importance to risk management practices at the farm and community levels. Women and men crop farmers had very similar perceptions of changing drought risks. Research on the roles of women in community-level water management, and gendered social norms suggest that it will be more difficult for women to reduce risks to their farms at the larger, collective, scales than it is for men. This study shows that gender can influence risk-taking and decision-making and therefore should be taken into account when strengthening climate risk management practices or designing adaptation interventions.